On Monday 23rd January, CUSU Council voted overwhelmingly to support a boycott of the National Student Survey (NSS), a motion proposed by the CUSU President, Amatey Doku and seconded by the CUSU Education Officer Roberta Huldisch. Our message to final year students is clear: PLEASE DO NOT FILL OUT THE NATIONAL STUDENT SURVEY!
The NSS is directly linked to the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), a new government scheme which will award Universities a bronze, silver or gold award and allow them to raise fees accordingly.
By the University’s own modelling, it is confident that they will receive a gold award in the first iteration of the Teaching Excellence Framework. Alongside looking at employment and retention statistics, the government will use the data from the NSS to allow the University to raise fees, initially in line with inflation.
If the government succeeds then by 2020 students are likely to be paying around £10,000 a year to attend University with no cap in sight.
However, the NSS does require a 50% response rate and we are confident that invalid NSS results will frustrate the implementation of TEF in the future and demonstrate clearly how easily the metrics can be manipulated.
There are also other ways for all students to give feedback to the University. CUSU runs the Student Lead Teaching Awards, you can give feedback at the end of lecture series, fill out the big Cambridge survey, or use the newly introduced Student Barometer survey. The University takes all these forms of feedback seriously and none of them will underpin harmful government policy.
So again, CUSU is urging finalists not to fill out the National Student Survey. Over the coming weeks we’ll be giving more information and answering any questions but if you have any questions in the meantime please email Amatey Doku at firstname.lastname@example.org or Roberta Huldisch at email@example.com